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Military Web Site Debuts to Provide Info to Parents

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2000 – Todaysmilitary.com will become the latest arrow in the quiver aimed at getting recruits in the military when the Web site goes live Aug. 14.

The Web site is an outgrowth of the recently ended "Yahoo! Fantasy Careers in Today's Military" contest. The fantasy career Web site was "a success by any measure," said Cmdr. Yvette Brown-Wahler, DoD director for recruiting plans.

"Over 3,300 essays were submitted to the services through Yahoo! Careers," she said. "40 percent of the contestants requested additional information from the respective service regarding career opportunities." The program showed that the Internet is the medium to reach people, she said.

Brown-Wahler said the todaysmilitary.com is an "adult influencer Web site" -- meaning it is aimed at parents, teachers, veterans, coaches, scoutmasters, ministers or any adult young men and women go to for career advice. The site will give visitors information they may need about the military. Many parents, for instance, are not aware of the opportunities available in the military.

"We have eight ways to earn college degrees. We have more than 150 military occupations. But many parents and other adult influencers have no idea we offer so much," she said.

One reason they often have no idea is that fewer people have firsthand experience with the military since the draft ended in 1973, and the military has been shrinking in size for more than 10 years. Todaysmilitary.com will be a one-stop information source.

"There will be general overall discussion of the military and links to the services' home pages," she said. The services are working on their Web sites to make them easier to navigate, Brown-Wahler said.

DoD officials said the Web site will cost about $13 million to $14 million to set up and advertise. Print advertisements will begin in October and television ads start in January, Brown- Wahler said. BATES Worldwide is the contractor for the program.

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